'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' coming to Geneva High School stage on March 16-18

The curtains will open once again for another musical production at Geneva High School March 16-18.

This performance of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" will take audiences on a "Topsy Turvy" adventure that will transport them to another world.

Inspired by the Victor Hugo novel, the musical tells the story of the deformed bell ringer, Quasimodo, and how he falls in love with the beautiful gypsy, Esmerelda.

Director Jason Fontanetta and the cast of Geneva High School students have been hard at work rehearsing since early January. He is impressed with the dedication of this cast and the hard work they have put into the show.

"This music is difficult," Fontanetta said. "It's very choral in that it's very much a choir type of musical. There's a significant amount of it that is in Latin and the kids are dedicated. They're working at it, they're learning it, and it's sounding really great."

Audiences can expect to hear most of the same songs from the beloved Disney animated film, but there are some differences in the stage adaptation. The stage production is truer to the original book and has a darker feel than the movie.

"This style of music is much different than any other show we've done before," Vocal director Jessica Heinrich said. "We've got a little bit of the Disney pop sort of singing that goes into a lot of the individual vocal parts. But then also a lot of choir parts. The ensemble has a lot of choral music, it kind of sounds like old church music. The contrast is super cool."

The cast and crew are excited to take on this challenging musical and step outside of their comfort zones with new characters.

"I think it's important that when choosing shows you give the kids the opportunity to perform in a variety of different musical styles," Fontanetta said. "Hunchback was very different from last year's musical, 'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.' We were intrigued with the story, and we thought it would be fun."

This year's production is especially meaningful to the seniors. Lily Mehren (Esmerelda), Zach Davies (Quasimoto), Jack Voreis (Frollo), and Charlie Cervanka (Clopin) shared how they feel about saying goodbye to Geneva theater.

"I'll miss being on stage because I don't know if I'll have another opportunity to do this in college," Zach Davies said. "I'm going to miss the preshow jitters and just being able to go out and do something I love."

Charlie Cervanka shared their favorite part about being involved with Geneva theater. Just like the rest of the senior cast members, they are sad to leave the Geneva theater program but thankful for the people and memories. "I love having somewhere to go every single day," Cervanka said. "It's my favorite people and I'm doing my favorite thing and I'm not sitting in my bed alone at home."

Tickets are available for sale at and are available at the door on the day of the shows.

When coming to see this show, audiences can expect to be transported to a magical world in 1482 Paris. This dark, intense, beautiful, silly, dramatic, wonderful spectacle of a show is worth the watch.

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